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June 9, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Consumer Perceptions When It Comes to Buying or Selling A Home

4 in 10 Ontarians say they would consider buying virtually, with 1 in 4 active buyers saying the pandemic has changed what they are looking for in their next home

TORONTO, ON – The COVID-19 pandemic is not only having an effect on the real estate market, but also on consumer perceptions according to research conducted by Nanos Research for the Ontario Real Estate Association’s new monthly Pulse Check on Consumer Attitudes.

Despite economic uncertainties, nearly 6 in 10 Ontarians active in the real estate market still believe that buying a home today – even during the COVID-19 pandemic – remains a very good (19%) or good (37%) investment. Only 1 in 10 Ontarians think it is a poor (8%) or very poor (3%) investment.

“We have historically had a strong real estate market here in Ontario,” said OREA President Sean Morrison. “This new data underscores the important role real estate can play in Ontario’s economic recovery as we move towards a post COVID-19 world.”

COVID-19 – and the physical distancing and isolation that comes with it – is impacting what buyers are looking for in their next home. 1 in 4 buyers have now shifted their preferences when searching for their next home, specifically when it comes to a bigger property with more space/amenities (28%) and more outdoor space (25%).

Just over 4-in-10 Ontarians say they are open (10%) or somewhat open (32%) to purchasing a home if they could only view it virtually using online tools. This is particularly true with younger Canadians: 47% of those open or somewhat open to virtually buying a home are between the ages of 18 to 34. Only one in three Ontarians say they are not at all open to buying a home sight unseen.

Among the 42% of Ontarians who are open or somewhat open to purchasing a house they had only viewed virtually, more than 8 in 10 say it would be important or somewhat important for them to use a REALTOR to help facilitate the purchase.

“Ontario’s Realtors have modern tools like virtual open houses, 3D video tours and digital signings at their disposal to facilitate remote transactions,” said Morrison. “Consumers are adapting during this extraordinary time, and their willingness to embrace new tools tells us that the Canadian dream of home ownership remains strong, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

About the survey

An online survey of Ontario residents aged 18+ who are active in the real estate market was conducted between May 7 – 15, 2020 through Nanos Research. Opinions were gathered from 1,073 Ontario residents. The total number of participants was weighted by age and gender according to Statistics Canada census data. The sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.


For more information contact:

Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Specialist, Media Relations


416-445-9910 ext. 246

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